Four-year-old Danika Clunn burst into tears when she visited her community garden last week to find “someone stoleded my cucumbers.”
“I was so sad someone stoled them, and someone cut up everything,” the Haney youngster told The TIMES.
“It was so mean,” she added, her lower lip quivering. She suggested to her mother that the culprits be given a “timeout.”
The Clunn family has one of 10 new community garden beds tucked in between the portables at Maple Ridge Secondary.
And much to the disappointment and outrage of these and other gardeners, several of the vegetable beds were recently ransacked.
Vandals seemed to target the vegetable beds, slicing unripe melons, throwing tomatoes, unearthing radishes, chopping off the corn stalks, skinning the unready ears, digging up all the potatoes, and stealing the ready-to-pick cucumbers that Danika and her little brother, 15-month-old Wesley, were planning to finally harvest last Monday (after planting them in May and watching them grow).
“I don’t know where our cucumbers went. They were just gone. So maybe they ate them,” Danika said, vowing to grow more with hopes those, too, won’t disappear.
“I’m going to grow some more big cucumbers again, but someone might steal them, too… someone might take them all, and take them to their house to eat.”
Clunn spent some time last week cleaning up the plant debris strewn around, as well as collecting a bunch of discarded beer bottles she assumed were left behind by the vandals.
“It was just wrecked,” she said, “It’s just such a waste of food.”
The police were informed of the vandalism, Clunn added.
“We did tell them it happened. I don’t know if anything will be done, but hopefully they might drive by a little more often.
In the meantime, one of the MRSS staff, who has been spearheading the new community garden program since it started this past spring, is looking at ways to better secure the gardens.
Tamara Manweiler will be approaching the “already tapped” school’s parent advisory council to ask for money, and failing that, she’ll turn to a few other sources, in her effort to raise money to build a fence around the garden and to erect signs.
“It’s sad it has to come to this,” Clunn said, noting it was heartwrenching to see all the gardeners’ hard work trashed, but it was even more devastating to see the impact that had on her daughter who literally broke down and sobbed next to her cuke plants.
“I hope you are proud of yourselves…” Clunn added. “Real classy.”
@ Copyright 2013